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What Editors Want is a new podcast in which I interview a different editor each week from the world of publishing. It’s aimed at readers who want to hear the behind the scenes story of how their favourite books get made, and aspiring authors who want to know how to get published. I’ve spoken to everyone from the biggest names in the industry to independent publishers taking a dynamic and innovative approach to making books. Along the way I’ve met the editors behind Nobel and Booker Prize win ...
 
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show series
 
Jenny Lord is the Publisher at Weidenfeld and Nicolson, part of Orion who were recently crowned Publisher of the Year. We discuss the role of a Publisher at a publishing house, and Jenny's career from Fig Tree to Canongate and now at W&N. She has always published incredible non-fiction and in particular we look at Motherwell by Deborah Orr, The Lon…
 
Founded in only 2014, Fitzcarraldo Editions specialising in contemporary fiction and long-form essays. In only five years they have won the International Booker Prize for Olga Tokarczuk's Flights and two of their authors have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Svetlana Alexievich in 2015 and Olga Tokarczuk in 2018. Jacques Testard, their …
 
Daunt Books is London's famous chain of bookstores, and Željka Marošević is the Publisher at their imprint. We met to discuss the relationship between the bookstore and the publisher, and her feminist project of republishing unjustly out of print women. We spoke about bringing novels including Dorothy Baker's Cassandra at the Wedding back into prin…
 
This week's guest is Tony White, founder and publisher of Piece of Paper Press, a lo-tech, sustainable publisher of new writings and illustrative works. Each book is manufactured from a single A4 sheet that is printed on both sides, and then folded, stapled and trimmed by hand to create the book. Piece of Paper Press titles are always distributed f…
 
Hannah Westland is the publisher at Serpent's Tail, the literary arm of Profile Books. Serpent's Tail launching the careers of writers such as David Peace, Michel Houellebecq and Colm Tóibín and made books such as Lionel Shriver’s We Need To Talk About Kevin and Karen Jay Fowler's We Are Completely Beside Ourselves into bestsellers. Hannah joined m…
 
My guest this week is the Senior Editor at Atlantic Books, James Roxburgh. We're discussing book fairs, the different types of reading and the perceived death of literary fiction, as well as James' amazing list of literary fiction from around the globe including books like: When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy (shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fi…
 
Alex Christofi is the first guest on the podcast who is both an editor and author. Alex has written two novels, Let Us Be True and Glass, which won the 2016 Betty Trask Prize and was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. We met to discuss the relationship between writing and editing, whether all great authors are great self-editors, and Alex re…
 
Alexa Von Hirschberg is the editorial director at Bloomsbury. She told me about how starting a jazz night got her her first job in publishing at Canongate, working with legends like Kate Tempest and Patrick DeWitt and on amazing novels like Natasha Pulley's The Watchmaker of Filigree Street and All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison. We also spok…
 
This week's guest is Mark Richards, Publisher at John Murray Press. John Murray are over 250 years old, the longest running independent trade publisher in the UK. They published authors like Jane Austen, Lord Byron and Charles Darwin. Mark and I met to talk about the rise, and potential pitfalls, of autofiction, and the importance of prizes to lite…
 
Susanna Otter is a Commissioning Editor at Quadrille, one of the leading non-fiction publishers in the UK who specialise in areas like food & drink, craft, lifestyle, design, and popular culture. To date on this podcast I've tended to concentrate on fiction, so I was delighted to get the chance to talk to Susannah about non-fiction in general and i…
 
Kit Caless is the co-founder of Influx Press, the Hackney based publisher making books from London anthologies all the way to poetry from The Western Sahara. We met to discuss starting a press from scratch, how indie presses manage submissions and the importance of literary prizes. Writers, how do can a publisher know you’re there unless you make y…
 
Emma Herdman is the Editorial Director at both Hodder Fiction and their literary imprint, Sceptre. Hodder publish some of the biggest names in the business like Stephen King, Jasper Fforde, Graham Norton, David Mitchell and Siri Hustvedt. Emma and I spoke about our shared background as booksellers, and in particular at Waterstones Piccadilly. Emma …
 
Lovers of literary fiction will know Granta Magazine and Granta itself, the publishers of authors likes Robert MacFarlane, Eleanor Catton, Ben Lerner, AM Holmes, Patrick deWitt and Han Kang. Anne Meadows is the Senior Commissioning Editor at Granta. We spoke about her incredible list of authors including Sandra Newman (The Heavens), Gwendoline Rile…
 
Scott (@meandmybigmouth) and I met in the run up to Christmas to discuss our mutual love of experimental fiction (although not, as you'll hear, the novels of Haruki Murakami). Scott explains why he thinks newspaper’s literary review pages are massively restrictive, and how publishers throw away millions of pounds a year on publishing hardbacks. We …
 
In the inaugural episode I visited Faber & Faber, the iconic publishers of authors like Sylvia Plath, William Golding, TS Eliot and Ted Hughes. This week's guest is Louisa Joyner, Faber's Publishing Director. We discussed her background as an academic and the difference (or rather lack thereof) between publishing commercial and literary fiction. Lo…
 
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